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By ATWadmin On September 4th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I wonder what you make of the news that Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s vice-presidential running mate, has indicated that a new Democratic administration could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration over the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo bay?  Moonbats. If this is the best that Obama and his pals can come up with in the face of Hurricane Sarah, I think they are going to have four very hungry years and deservedly so.


By ATWadmin On September 4th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Well, I know we’ve covered it earlier today but I just wanted to say how brilliant Sarah Palin was last night at the RNC. I have read lots of  commentary about it – and there are a few points of my own I wish to add;

1. People say she was just reading a script. I have written scripts for political party conferences and all I can say is that the skill lies not just in the words, but in how the words are delivered. Palin delivered – and some!

2. She came across to me as a real human being – not a political machine. I reckon her appeal will stretch way beyond the GOP base and THAT is mission accomplished at this pojnt in the game. I thought the introduction of her parents was really moving.

3. Compare her speech to that of Joe Biden – her Dem equivalent. Is there ANYBODY out there prepared to argue that Biden did better?

Palin IS a star, there’s just no doubt about it.  She also dared to attack the media establishment  which is something that takes massive courage given how they – and their handlers – have gone after her, and her family. So I take my hat off to Sarah Palin, and yes even John McCain, because I think it is best for the USA and the rest of the civlised world, to have that partnership leading us in the next four years. Suddenly, Obama and Biden seem like…well, yesterday’s men!   


By ATWadmin On September 4th, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Did you see that  new UK car registrations last month hit the lowest level for any August since 1966, industry figures show? The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that new car registrations were down 18.6% to 63,225 compared with the same month in 2007.  It said that declining consumer confidence was hitting sales across all major European markets.

Locally,  I know of a major car dealer in Belfast whose sales are down by 75% in the past three months vs the same months last year. There is a MAJOR  recession sweeping across the UK economy and I believe we will see MANY more stories like this in the time ahead. What can the government do about it? Well, this is a radical thought but how about….not TAXING the hell out of the motorist? Too radical, huh?


By ATWadmin On September 4th, 2008 at 10:18 am

Vice Presidential Candidate Palin delivered a terrific political speech last night, exceeding expectations, exciting Republicans and landing some direct hits on the Obama campaign.   It was poised, funny and a command performance.  She also came across as genuine which will resonate with voters, even those who don’t agree with her on all of the issues. 

She offered an able defense of her record,  compelling arguments for McCain and above the belt jags against the Democratic ticket.   I know Dan Quayle, Dan Quayle was my Vice President, this woman is no Dan Quayle. 

Scripted?  Sure.  All convention speechs are.  But compare her freshness and ease with herself and her message to supposed better choices Huckabee, Thompson or Romney.  She wins hands down.  Romney spoke last night and I’ve seen used car salemen who had more credibility.   Romney always seems to have put on conservative positions and values like an ill fitting suit, Palin obviously is comfortable down to her skin. 

Richard Nixon was on the ropes during the Eisenhower Adminsitration, with Ike ready to dump him from the ticket.  He saved his career with a speech on television known as the Checkers speech , as he mentioned the family dog Checkers in an artful defense of his values that came across as humble and sincere.  Governor Palin upted the ante, this lady is playing hockey, not checkers.  

Whether the Republicans will or should prevail is still up in the air for this voter.   But agree with her or not, Palin showed she is ready for the prime time last night. 

Liberals Running Scared

By ATWadmin On September 4th, 2008 at 4:50 am

A collection of liberal first responses to Sarah Palin’s convention speech.

The girls over at The New Republic

Several moderate-Democrat friends of mine have been emailing–few if any would ever vote for McCain–but all agree that Palin was very strong. The more liberal among them are a little panicked.

I completely misjudged how negative she would be. Her lines about Obama were brutally cutting and possibly over the top in places. But she’s a far better messenger than an angry white man. (Note, by the way, how both Rudy and Huckabee employed a tone that was more bemused than angry. That’s the modern GOP’s favorite trick–comedic ridicule in place of outright nastiness.)

The Obama Campaign whines over the obvious fact that Palin didn’t write her own speech. Like Obama does?

“The speech that Governor Palin gave was well delivered, but it was written by George Bush’s speechwriter

The HuffPo can’t deny the power of Palin, but they definitely have their west coast noses out of joint

Does she belong in the big time? Judging from this performance, yes. She delivered under enormous pressure, and with great poise. It was an an effective attack on Obama and his supporters, from the right.

The Daily Kos  is not too happy with the Governor of Alaska

Wolf Blitzer called Sarah Palin’s speech Wednesday night a “grand slam.” It certainly had some slams in it, with the knife stuck in and twisted while she smiled, which might well be part of the governor’s vaunted managerial experience.

Here’s the speech that has the big boy democrats upset and running scared.

Democrat Panic over Palin

By ATWadmin On September 3rd, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Sara Palin has been Mayor, Governor, in charge of the Alaskan National Guard, and a bonafide “whistle blower.”  Barack?  He’s done nothing but talk and write.
Newt Ginrich, at the Republican Convention last night, spells it out to a MSNBC reporter at 2:23.


By ATWadmin On September 3rd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

The Aborigines sure seem touchy when it comes to the playing of the didgeridoo!

Aboriginal leaders in Australia have called for a book teaching girls how to play the didgeridoo to be scrapped. The Australian version of the Daring Book for Girls is due to be published next month. It has angered some indigenous leaders who view the didgeridoo as a male instrument not to be played by women. Publisher Harper Collins Australia said it was not aware of any taboos on women playing the didgeridoo, and has apologised for any offence caused. The Australian version of the book has replaced much of the original British content with distinctly Antipodean pastimes. But its advice to young readers on how to play the didgeridoo has offended some Aboriginal leaders. In many indigenous cultures, the hollowed out wooden pipe is viewed as a male ceremonial instrument, and women are forbidden from playing it.  Some Aboriginal cultures believe even touching a didgeridoo can have terrible consequences – and even lead to infertility.

So, should the publishers bend the knee to these outraged Aborigines or should they defend the right for Aussie boys and girls to play an instrument. After all, I doubt that the Aborigines are the core market here so what business is it of theirs who plays this pipe instrument. Also, wonder how our female readers feel about this – fair dinkum?


By ATWadmin On September 3rd, 2008 at 10:13 am

I picked this story up from ATW reader Gosh who has spotted that …

“A Boots store in Belfast city centre has asked its staff not to wear a union jack-style promotional t-shirts after complaints from a West Belfast shopper. The West Belfast man made his complaint after seeing a member of staff wearing the t-shirt at the firm’s flagship Donegall Place store. Seán Reynolds said he made a complaint to a manager about the t-shirt, but did not feel it was taken seriously. “I was in Boots to get my lunch and buy a bottle of after-shave,” he told the Andersonstown News. “I was planning to spend around £40, but when I saw that t-shirt I didn’t buy anything. To be fair, it was blue and grey, there was no red on it, but it was still basically a union jack. I decided to make a complaint because in this day and age people are entitled to work in a neutral environment and this is just a blatantly sectarian symbol.“I’m an easy-going fella, but I did find it offensive – and I’m only a customer. Who knows what it’s like for the staff? In my own work we’re always told we can’t wear any kind of sectarian symbols, so why should Boots be any different?” he asked.

Simple, Sean.

First of all, Boots is a British chain. Northern Ireland is British. The Union Flag is British and staff wearing their national flag (in whatever design) as part of a national promotion seems absolutely reasonable to me. If Sean doesn’t like it – let him take his cash elsewhere. I’m also an easy going fella but why should I accept that the republican West Belfast view prevails uber alles? 

Furthermore, the decision by the store to ban the Union Flag in a British store is an affront to every British customer so perhaps all unionist shoppers should boycott this Bootsbranch until it apologises for this decision? I trust visiting NI Unionist politicos have noted this insult to our British identity in this store and will address it.

In just about every country in the world I have visted, one sees the National Flag proudly displayed in all sorts of forms. In the Republic of Ireland, many stores fly it. I welcome that – all part of the charm! But the idea that it is “sectarian” to have the British flag worn by staff employed by a British retailer, in a British store, is drivel. I am afraid Sean’s mopery  should not be indulged.


By ATWadmin On September 3rd, 2008 at 7:48 am

What is to be made of the news that representatives for a gallery in Gateshead have appeared in court yesterday charged with outraging public decency, after featuring a statue of Jesus with an erection? The artwork was part of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art’s September 2007-January 2008 exhibition Gone, Yet Still, by the controversial Chinese artist Terence Koh, which featured dozens of plaster figures including Mickey Mouse and ET – all in some state of arousal.

Lawyers for Emily Mapfuwa, a 40-year-old Christian who was offended by the artwork, launched a private prosecution against the gallery for outraging public decency and causing harassment, alarm and distress to the public. Mapfuwa, of Brentwood, Essex, argues the Baltic would not have dared depict the prophet Muhammad in such a way. She complained in writing to Northumbria police earlier this year, asking for an investigation, and was informed in May that there was no case to answer. But the Christian Legal Centre – an organisation that aims to “promote and protect the biblical freedoms of Christian believers in the United Kingdom” – agreed to pay her legal costs.

Now I do understand the offense this sort of “art” creates for Christians. I find it more pathetic than anything else and Ms Mapfuwa has a point when she says that the brave hearts behind this exhibit at  the Baltic Centre (Nice place, btw, I have been there!) would not DARE to show us Mohammad with an erection. But that just shows how cowardly they are. I think Christianity is bigger than some sordid little progressive art collection and so personally I would just ignore it. I also happen to think that they should have a right to put on such shows, regardess of how inane or offensive they are. We live in a land where liberty includes the right to offend!! Quite WHO wants to go and see an aroused Micky Mouse escapes me – apart from possibly Minnie Mouse!


By ATWadmin On September 3rd, 2008 at 7:40 am

Ever considered buying solar panels for your house? I have (!) but was not sufficiently convinced I would get payback. And yet I see more and more people  sticking them up on their roofs. So, just how GOOD an investment are they?

“Solar panels are one of the least cost-effective ways of combating climate change and will take 100 years to pay back their installation costs, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warned yesterday. In a new guide on energy efficiency, Rics said that roof panels for heating water and generating power are unlikely to save enough from bills to make them financially viable in a householder’s lifetime. In the case of solar panels to heat water for baths and showers, the institution estimates the payback time from money saved from electricity and gas bills will take more than 100 years – and up to 166 years in the worst case. Photovoltaic (PV) panels for power – and domestic, mast-mounted wind turbines – will take between 50 and 100 years to pay back.”

Now call me short-sighted BUT when the payback for such an investment is greater than my lifetime, I’m thinking that it’s not one I want to pursue! Is this just one more green con – superficially attractive, governmment endorsed – and utterly useless?